NBC Sports via The Associated Press is reporting that the TNT broadcast network will be using players only broadcast teams for select NBA games, beginning February 27th. The “Players Only” broadcasts are scheduled for Monday doubleheader nights.
The broadcast crew teams will include: Brent Barry, Grant Hill, and Derek Fisher as one team. Greg Anthony, Kevin McHale, and Richard Hamilton as the other. Dennis Scott and Lisa Leslie will serve as sideline reporters. The in studio crew will be led by Chris Webber, and he will be joined by Isiah Thomas and Baron Davis.
Not having a traditional play by play man or studio host could be interesting. The thing that makes people like Gus Johnson, Kevin Harlan and Ernie Johnson so good at what they do is they know how to let the game evolve for the viewer. How to manage the traffic flow so everyone can get their two cents in during a studio show.
With a team of all ex players the audience should be able to get insight as to what the current players are experiencing in a certain situation. Plus potentially lively discussion about player and coach decisions during critical points of the game.
Let’s give this a chance and see how it takes. The folks at TNT are smart and the crew of players they’ve assembled all work in the media, either with TNT, NBA TV or another media outlet. If the early returns are not what the network hopes, they’ll probably scrap the idea.
Scheduled Monday night doubleheader games include:
- Toronto vs. New York
- Indiana vs. Houston
- Boston vs. LA Clippers
- Atlanta vs. San Antonio
- Golden State vs. Oklahoma City
- Cleveland vs. San Antonio